Saturday 10 February 2024

An unusual folding chair at Burg Eltz

Burg Eltz is one of the many castles along the Mosel river in Germany, and a main tourist attraction, mainly because it is still complete and furnished, and thus pleasing to visit. Unfortunately, you may not take photos inside the castle. The furniture collection of the castle ranges from late medieval to the turn of the 20th century. This also includes the neogothic style, which can be difficult to distinguish from late medieval. For instance the type of furniture may not match the medieval style or the furniture is made too regular. 

Four sedia dantesca folding chairs with leather seats are shown in this room of Burg Eltz. On the ceiling hangs an early 16th century lichtweibchen. Photo from Burg Eltz website

A sleeping room in Burg Eltz. I find the bed suspicious, but the dressoir behind it looks genuine. Photo from Burg Eltz website.

This room in Burg Eltz has fantasy medieval furniture, the most obvious one is the sofa. Photo from Burg Eltz website.

One of the pieces of furniture that caught my eye was a common Savonarola folding chair, but with an abnormal contruction for the backrest. Normally, the backrest can slide into a groove in the armrest, and thus the backrest is wider than the chair itself. Here, a dovetail was used to connect the backrest with the armrest. This complete fixes the backrest to the arms (in theory you could slide in and out of the dovetail groove, but it is not very practical), making the chair non-foldable. 

A 'normal' constructed Savonarola chair in Burg Eltz, with an extended backrest.

The normal savaranola chair has a sliding groove for the backrest. This example is my chair.

My savonarola chair backend construction (left), and the Burg Eltz backend with the dovetail (photoshopped from my chair).

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